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Macedonia vs Italy Predictions & Betting Tips

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Macedonia vs Italy Predictions & Betting Tips

Macedonia will find it difficult to get their first points of the World Cup qualifiers when they host Italy on Sunday. Our free betting predictions take advantage of the huge odds on offer for Italy’s defence to falter on their path to victory.

Macedonia vs Italy
When: 9th October, 19:45
Where: Nacionalna Arena Filip II Makedonski
Free Betting Tips: Italy to Win and Both Teams to Score at 7/2 with bet365
Correct Score Predictions: Italy to Win 3-1 at 16/1 with bet365

Macedonia continued their inevitable journey towards World Cup qualification disappointment on Thursday when they lost 2-1 at home to Israel. They went behind to two first half goals from the visitors, and despite pulling one back with half an hour remaining, they never truly looked like getting anything from the game.

This made it two defeats in a row for Macedonia after their failure in Albania back in September. Fortunately for them they might be able to avoid bottom spot in the qualifying group with the presence of minnows Liechtenstein, but there is an impossibly slim chance that they’ll cause any trouble at the top of the pile.

This defeat to Israel made it six losses of Macedonia’s last seven games, with their only success being a 3-1 win at home to Azerbaijan. They have only won two of their last 17 outings, losing 13 of them.

Italy couldn’t make it six points out of six on Thursday when they hosted Spain in one of the key clashes in this group. They are the two favourites for the one automatic qualification position in this group, so the two matches between them will prove crucial come the end of qualifying.

A 1-1 draw at home to a Spain side who had recently won a game 8-0 is no bad thing, but they would have liked to get a home win under their belts to take the pressure off their trip to Spain in a year’s time.

This followed on from a 3-1 victory in Israel that got them over their Euro 2016 disappointment. The Italy squad had been criticised for a lack of talent, but the organisation of Antonio Conte and the all-Juventus world class defence took them to the quarter finals before they were eliminated on penalties by Germany. They followed this with a 3-1 loss to France in a friendly following Conte’s departure to Chelsea.

Italy’s back line is rightly praised, but they haven’t kept as many clean sheets as you would expect. They have kept the opposition at bay in just two of their last 13 away matches, and they’re facing a Macedonia side who have scored 15 of their last 23 at home. In the shorter term, they have netted in four of their last six home games.

In my opinion, the bookies are overestimating Italy’s clean sheet potential here, and I think that bet has a real chance of coming in. Realistically I expect Italy to get the win though, so odds of 7/2 for Italy to Win and Both Teams to Score look incredibly good value. I’m backing that alongside a 3-1 correct score prediction at 16/1.

Head To Head
This will be the first meeting between these nations.

Stats
Italy have conceded in 85% of their last 13 away days, whilst Macedonia have found the net in 65% of their last 23 home matches.

Team News
Captain and top scorer Goran Pandev remains Macedonia’s most dangerous player and will be hoping to add to his 27 international goals. 19 year old Grasshopper midfielder Nikola Gjorgiev is hoping to continue his fledgling international career as well, whilst Vanche Shikov remains a mainstay in a five-man defence.

Italy’s squad is largely unchanged from last time out, with Mario Balotelli still omitted despite an excellent start to the season. Gianluigi Buffon will continue to captain his side as he adds to his 164 caps, although 17 year old Gianluigi Donnarumma is ready and waiting to take his place. 21 year old Alessio Romagnoli won his first cap in midweek, whilst Daniele De Rossi’s 18 goals make him the top scorer for Italy. Eder and Graziano Pelle will play up front in a 3-5-2 set up.

Free Betting Tips: Italy to Win and Both Teams to Score at 7/2 with bet365
Correct Score Predictions: Italy to Win 3-1 at 16/1 with bet365

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